Thursday, December 31, 2009

One Thing Worth Keeping

I will always think of 2009 as a Lost Year. Most probably the worst year of my life. The year in which on most days it took everything I could muster simply to function at a semi-socially acceptable level. The year bad went to worse and worse was redefined, as was our definition of "ok."

The year began with an exploration of What Happened, only to find our anger and fury dismissed.

Months and months. Consult after consult. Procedures, biopsies, HSGs galore, only to learn my uterus will never function as it once had.

Mock cycle
. Canceled cycle. Failed cycle.

Birth parent found - and rather than reveling in the discovery, I mourn the loss of my made up beginnings. My myths. I like them better. Can I have them back please?

Oh yes, and a broken leg.

What I am saying is 2009, you can go fuck yourself up your own ass and disappear. Fade away. Go away now and never come back. 2009, I am so done with you.

From all of this, there is one thing worth keeping. And that is the love and friendship, compassion and once again, simply unconditional love I have found among those that have also lost someone, and those that are still struggling to even conceive. It is not a misery loves company kind of thing, because around these women (and men) I am not miserable. I am revived.

Absent the pretense of normalcy, I see just a shade of who I used to be emerge.

So you see, I am still here. And that is a relief.

Last month I spent a weekend with Angie, Lani, Sarah, Tracy, Tash, Niobe, Julia, Molly and Laura. We hugged and cried and remembered and comforted and laughed and cooked and ate. My god did we eat. We spent a wintry weekend at the beach just like normal people would. As Angie, Lani and I sauntered down the boardwalk we decided on a self-portrait. Seeing us struggle with our aim, an older gentleman took the camera and took our photo for us.

"Look at your smiles," he said, "You must be such close friends." And we looked at each other and shared a knowing look and simply said yes. Yes, we are.

Because, my friends, it feels like I have known you forever. Longer than my sadness, longer than my grief.

And I want more than anything to know you once it has faded.

And to you, my friends in real life, thank you. Simply thank you for staying with us. Not once do I underestimate the challenge of that.


Yesterday, completely out of nowhere, M. said, "You know, ever since we went to that lady, things feel a little bit better. At least, they don't feel so bad."

Yes. I agree.

And so, welcome 2010. We've been waiting for you. Opportunity and hope, 2010, you seem to be ushering in all of this. It feels like some doors are opening, some possibilities are waiting to be explored.

Please let me be brave enough to walk through.

Welcome 2010. We've been waiting for you.

And welcome to you, Micah Amir. Brother to Ezra. Son to David and Sarah. Welcome.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Visit

We said: "Why are we still so sad?"

She said: "Still? My goodness, it's only been a year. I'm sorry, but you have a long way to go in your grieving process. Another year at least."

And went on to quote the "literature" which give 18-24 months of hardcore grieving for a loss. And that assumes a loss is a parent or a spouse, in other words, someone not unexpected. And that assumes the loss of one, not two, people.

We said: "This is strangely reassuring. Now, please share those time lines with the rest of the world."

She said: "Don't worry about the rest of the world. Worry about you. Worry about each other."

We said: "We are so angry." And went on to explain all that occurred leading up to the birth and death of our daughters.

She said: "Of course you are. You have a right to be angry. You should be angry. Now what are you going to do about it?"

We are going to consult with someone about a potential lawsuit. This is what we are going to do about it.

I said: "I punched a wall last week. Who does that? Who above the age of 13 does that? I feel so violent. All I want to do is punch and kick and smash and break."

She said: "Why do you think that is an inappropriate response? I think you should punch something. Both of you. You need the release. Now, let's think of a way for you to do that without harming yourself. "

I think Santa will be bringing us some pretty cool boxing gear. No shit.

He said: "I just don't see the point of anything."

She said: "Have you considered anti-depressants?"

He said: "That is not going to happen."

She said: "Then punching something becomes imperative."

I said: "I am so tired of failing. For so long. At things so important. I am tired of dealing with bad news that I cannot change and situations I cannot fix. I am sick of things getting worse every time we try to make them better. And I am sick of the assumption that we are ok and the anger when we are not."

She said: "I want you to change your language. You have not failed. There are situations that are beyond your control."

I said: "That is not acceptable."

She said: "Too bad."

I said half-jokingly: "When will we get better?"

She laughed.

I said: "When will we get better?" And meant it.

She said: "I'm sorry. That is simply an answer I do not have. Do you want to work on it together?"

We said: "Yes. Please."

Friday, December 4, 2009

You Probably Shouldn't See This

Sorry. I'm going nuts. And in an attempt to clear my head I am dumping all flotsam and inner voices here:

Dude, stop looking at FB. Just stop it. You don't need that crack.

But look! Everybody's so happy! So joyful! So thankful! And I'm so....not.

So? Who the fuck cares? Are you really going to type another debbie downer status update? Ohhh I'm so saaaaad. Oh, woe is meeeeeee. Ugh. Are you gonna be that person?

What's the deal with you and this whole "that person" I can be "that person" if I fucking want to be. Maybe you didn't know; its the anniversary of my daughters' deaths....

OMFG no fucking shit. Why don't you write it across the sky? You're a broken record. Do you think anyone in the English speaking world is UN-aware of that?

Uh, yeah, probably, like, my whole family, my workplace and most of my friends IRL. Not everybody reads blogs, you know.

The cool people do.

Yes. The cool people do.

What am I going to do with you?

Nothing. Leave me alone. Let me sulk. In fact, why don't you pour me a drink.

Why don't you get off your ass and do something to earn it. Remember this thing - it's called EX-ER-CISE....maybe you should try it. You took the rest of the day off work so, um, do something.

Ok, A.) cold outside. Just checked. Yes, definitely pink-cheek worthy. B.) There are other people at the gym. Maybe, I'll think about some pilates poses in the spare room.

Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. Step one. Get dressed. Please. And brush your teeth while you're at it? Maybe that will make you feel more human.

Ok....maybe I should just go Xmas shopping.

Oh? You and what car?

Hmm. Ok. Scratch that. So, you're saying moving will feel better?

Can you feel worse?

Never say that. You can always feel worse. And actually, I don't feel all that terribly bad right now. In fact, I'm cracking myself up.

Great. That's great. We aim to please.

Oh, if only.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First I was fine

but now, not so much.

I don't know how the day shifted. Right from under me. And actually, as I type this, it has shifted back. Right back to fine.

Last night I drank mulled wine. Decorated the tree. Lingered a long time on the ornaments with some of the only images of the girls that we have.

Do I put them up? How does this make me feel? Do I want to be looking at these every day? I asked M. Do these things make you happy or sad? He said keep them up. He said both.

Yes. Both.

I did the tree. Because when else can you bring an 8 foot piece of the forest into your home and have it be ok? We agreed it is one of the things about the holidays we like a lot.

Tree is up. Lit. Pretty. Now the stockings. No sorry. Can't do it. The image of two stockings - even if they are ostensibly for M and me - hanging in expectation on the mantle is simply too much. No. This I can't do. Those went back in the box.

Lights yes. Stockings no. Tree yes. Cards maybe. Presents - fuck. Presents.

Maybe this is what started it. Anxiety around presents. What to get. Who gets its. Wait. We are close to broke. Now what? Thoughts return to perhaps just skipping Xmas altogether.

No. No. Can't do that. I mean, you can, but Angie said it so well:

"It is like falling off a bicycle, we cannot skip the holiday this year, or we will every year."

I do believe she's right.

But somewhere amidst the wine and the lights and the balls and the baubles I remembered, "this time last year I was full-on pregnant. Blissful. Happy. Beyond happy." By this time a week from now, all of that had changed.

And within that quick realization, that split second, the lights seemed accusatory, the baubles gaudy, the stockings already shoved back in the crate just plain cruel.

I have tried with all my might to avoid the "if only's" and the "if they were's..." and even the "this time last year's...." but they are flooding my brain today and won't go away. Not even some basic yoga postures soothe. They just bring tears.

And then Michael picks me up off the ground, demands a hug, we go back to the kitchen and get coffee and I am back to being fine. Just like that. The phone rings an email comes in, a workman knocks at the door and the haze reshuffles and moves away for a bit. Until the next time.

I think, as so many of you have already warned, I am just going to have to take these waves as they come. Let them happen. Despite all of my logic and rationalization, this week DOES feel different than the rest of the year. It IS different. It just is.

M has off today. I am working from home - not by choice - every once in a while our office tries to see if we can function away from the physical building and if anyone will notice. Its our "emergency testing" plan. Yesterday this was awesome. I needed the peace. Today I'm am in desperate need for distraction. So I am getting dressed and running some errands with my husband. I am walking away from the phone and the computer for a while and hoping no one notices. But if they do, well it just doesn't matter that much.